CAUTION: No spoilers, but flower puns galore up ahead! Tread at your own risk!
Disclaimer: The drama, like this article, is not meant to be taken seriously. If you've established that, and still wish to proceed, be my guest, this article will make your daisy!
Flower Crew: Joseon Marriage Agency (꽃파당 조선혼담공작소) is a 16 episode, historical, romantic-comedy drama, that is currently in its fifth week of airing. It premiered on September 16th, to solid ratings (for a cable TV drama) however, audience response here on MDL has been lukewarm.
Fear not, my fellow humans! Your fellow MDLer rose to the occasion and is here to enlighten you all about Joseon's very own Flower Crew, and whether they'll stand the test of time, or wilt away.
So, without further ado, let's petal to the metal!
The story begins with the Crown Prince of the Joseon dynasty trying to escape from the clutches of imminent death, while simultaneously trying to make it in time to his sick father's side. He is apprehended by a masked assassin during this attempt and loses his life.
Years later, Kim Soo, the son of the village blacksmith, comes across the Flower Crew, Joseon's three matchmaking musketeers, on one of his trips to the marketplace, and is transfixed and in awe of their abilities (so he's heard of). He immediately approaches them and pleads for them to send a proposal to the girl of his dreams. The problem, she's an unruly street urchin named Gae Ddong. (Now I have no expertise in the language, but doesn't that quite literally mean Dog Sh*t? Never mind, moving on.) [Editor's note: Yes, it does. :))]
With a lot of coaxing, Kim Soo finally manages to convince Ma Hoon, the leader of the Flower Crew (AKA Mr. Steal Yo Girl) to arrange a proposal and his wedding ceremony. The lady *snorts* says yes, and all's warm and cosy! Woo Hoo! Alas, good times rarely last (and besides, this is only the first two episodes we're talking about here) and the groom is kidnapped on his wedding day, the poor bride jilted on the altar, she's now a damnedelion, (well, not quite) and a huge conspiracy is unfurled.
Gasp! Kim Soo is actually Lee Soo, Joseon's future King! He's been kidnapped and brought to the Palace to hold the office immediately. Give the kid a break. He was hammering metal just a day before, and now he's supposed to get hammered in royal parties with his concubines. Might sound fun to any other blacksmith turned king, but Lee Soo is a man of honour, and he will never let go of his first love. Bring back the Flower Crew, we're gonna have a big fat royal wedding! It's time to Pygmalion our way through, and turn this little thorn weed into a blossoming sunflower!
Cherry-picked rising stars, along with some notable veteran actors, are what this drama can happily boast about. Eye candy as far as the eye can see, with some outstanding performances thrown into the mix! Let's dive in for a look at the main cast, shall we?
THE TRIANGLE (and not the fun one)
Kim Min Jae as Ma Hoon
As flowers go, he's an iris, gladiolus and daffodil, all rolled into one.
Ma Hoon is (for the lack of a better word) awesome! He's intelligent, patient, foresighted, and mischievous when he wants to be. Not to mention, he does a complete 180 when he's drunk, and just becomes way too adorable for his own good. With a voice that could tame dragons like little puppies, he is almost too good to be in a drama like this.
Sure, his character has the makings of your typical brooding male leads, but he really manages to break past all that. A stellar example of Neutral Good, he has no qualms about defying authority, especially if it means going against his own father. *sigh* Daddy issues.
Gong Seung Yeon as Gae Ddong
If there's one thing this girl knows, it's how to use her head (quite literally.) Loud, brash, and not as smart as she thinks she is, Gae Ddong is your classic, over the top, "I got the hang of this" female lead, who always ends up in a pickle thus needing saving from Ma Hoon (because Lee Soo is too far away.)
She lets her fists do the talking and has a penchant for headbutting innocent people (though they might be asking for it some times.)
Gae Ddong may seem insufferable, but she has her moments of hilarity and melancholy, making her a little more layered than you'd expect her to be.
Seo Ji Hoon as Lee Soo
The poor kid who didn't ask for any of the predicaments he's currently in.
Kim Soo was a happy-go-lucky, hardworking blacksmith who had not a care in the world until the world decided to dump all its troubles unto his malnourished yet strong shoulders.
A passionate young man, he cares truly about those whose lives he impacted and loves Gae Ddong deeply, though the reciprocation of his feelings is questionable as of now.
2 STOOGES AND A LADY
Park Ji Hoon as Go Young Soo
As flowers go, he's the narcissus, the diva of the trio. Adorably sassy, Young Soo is an awesome make-up artist and an equally awesome drama queen. As over the top he is, his character doesn't really get tiresome, though there are moments where the watcher finds themselves eye-rolling quite a bit.
Byun Woo Suk as Do Joon
The good ol' apple blossom, the epitome of peace and the one who just exudes charisma and coolness, is Do Joon, the ladies' man. The final member of the Flower Crew, he's smart, funny, and a learned man, considering his knack for constantly correcting Young Soo's grammar. The man is handsome, and he knows it. He never loses his coolness, except in front of that one special lady.
Go Won Hee as Kang Ji Hwa
Most importantly, she is smart and has her wits about her, which is just an added plus when you think of how female characters are usually written.
I regard myself as a generally optimistic person. Therefore, to say that I'm genuinely enjoying watching this drama (though my crazy college schedule now does little to help) wouldn't be a stretch. That being said, this is not the drama to watch if you're looking for something to seriously invest your time and emotions into. There are some compelling and thought-provoking moments, but they're few and far in between.
The story-line is not the most original, but then again, it's difficult to find a well-made, fully original romantic comedy these days. There's a huge concentration of overused k-drama tropes here, so much that even I (considering my leniency) found myself rolling my eyes. Comedy is subjective, and finding something hilarious or cringe-worthy differs from watcher to watcher. In my case, however, most jokes have landed well so far. Commenting on the political aspect of this drama would mean I'm taking this very seriously, however, Park Ho San is doing incredibly well as the grey Chief State Councillor and Ma Hoon's father.
If you have read any of my previous CW articles, you would have noticed that this particular article lacks the sections where I talk about music and cinematography. This is because I'm sadly disappointed. The music of the drama did not pique my interest at all; in fact, I found myself disregarding it completely. As for the cinematography, I feel that everything is a bit too polished and filtered. A sageuk is supposed to have a touch of rawness, and this is sadly a tad too glamorous for my liking. However, in terms of this being a coming of age tale centered around and catering to teenagers in a historical setting, the creators might have just succeeded.
On to the pros, Kim Min Jae was the reason I started watching this drama (I loathe love triangles with a fiery passion), and he's the reason I'll finish it. He has a captivating screen presence that makes you want to keep watching and listening to him. A lot of people have complained about the SLS that Seo Ji Hoon's character instilled in them, while I agree that Lee Soo is beautiful, inside and out, his character for me personally, lacked a little of the oomph, the pizzazz, the flaws that make me want to properly root for a character. He's just too pure to be true!
The fun triangle, our very own Flower Crew, has incredible chemistry with each other. These three steal the show every time they're on screen, and they just mesh so well together. If there's anything that can make a drama satisfying, it is the bromance and brotherhood. They make sure to light up the watcher's mood if things start to get a little slow.
So there you have it! My shortest article yet. I personally had high hopes for this drama, and while there are aspects of it that I absolutely love, I'm disappointed overall. Let me know how this drama fared with you if you did indeed watch it, will you continue watching, or if you've dropped it already?
Thank you so much for reading! Until next time. ❤️
(The cutie of the Flower Crew wants you to save him and this article in your heart! xD)